Young drivers in Market Harborough have experienced the trauma of road traffic accidents through virtual reality software, as part of a road safety campaign run by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS).

The ‘Fatal Four’ campaign aims to highlight the four biggest dangers presented to drivers when behind the wheel. These are using a mobile phone, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

As part of the campaign, young drivers attended an event at Robert Smyth Academy, where they were given the ‘most realistic experience’ of a road traffic accident, by watching themselves have medical treatment after a crash and seeing other passengers with serious injuries using a 360 degree virtual headset.

Since its launch, chief fire and rescue officer Richard Chandler said the initiative has had a major impact in schools and colleges across Leicestershire.

According to Brake, young drivers aged 16 to 19 are a third more likely to die in a crash than drivers aged 40 to 49, and one in four 18 to 24 year olds crash within two years of passing their driving test.

Nicky Jackson, serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Young drivers are some of the most vulnerable on the road, so it’s promising to see that a virtual reality campaign is successfully engaging a younger audience to highlight how dangerous driving can be.

“At Thompsons, we see all too often the devastating effects of accidents on Britain’s roads so any initiative that aims to address the four biggest dangers associated with younger drivers is very welcome.

“We hope that the ‘Fatal Four’ campaign will have a lasting impact on the Market Harborough community, seeing fewer accidents involving young drivers, and that if successful it can be rolled out across the UK.”